Another year has come and gone and we’ve witnessed yet another season finale of football. Was it everything that you hoped and dreamed it would be? Frankly, I don’t really care, since we all know the true reason millions of people watch the Super Bowl is for the commercials, and Super Bowl LVI is no exception!
Like last year, most of the commercials for the Superbowl were pretty unimpressive. I’d actually say that a lot of them this year we even worse than last year. Looking back at last year’s ads, while a ton of them were flash in the pan moments without much staying power, at least they were still moments. The commercials for Superbowl LVI ranged from boring to safe to a QR Code screensaver. Sure, there were some great commercials, and it wouldn’t be a proper sportsball season finale if we didn’t take a look at them.
Look, it’s either that or deal with the discourse of Kevin Smith whining that Spider-Man: No Way Home didn’t get a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars and if the option is that or this, then sign me up for regurgitating and making fun of commercials and commercialism. Go me! Here are the best and worst commercials from Super Bowl LVI.
Best: We Found Flavortown!
Guy Fieri is a great person, but man is he fun to make fun of. Whether it be his frosted tips or his constant messaging about Flavortown, he’s a bit of a punching bag, but I was thrilled to see exactly what Flavortown was like in this commercial. Everyone has frosted tips and Guy Fieri is like God to the people that inhabit this sci-fi land of mystery and wonder. Yes, this is purely self-aware and poking fun at Guy Fieri’s reputation, but damn it, I want to go to Flavortown now!
Worst: Carvana Mom Won’t Shut Up
I admit to knowing very little about most of the companies doing Super Bowl commercials this year, but generally speaking, most commercials shouldn’t be annoying. There were some commercials that almost annoyed me, but the Carvana mom beat all of them to the punch. I don’t know if incessant yammering is going to entice people to use Carvana, but let’s just call it a seven million dollar experiment that will almost certainly fail. And yes, it did cost $7 million dollars to air a 30-second ad at Super Bowl LVI. Money well spent!
Best: Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd Reminisce Over Lays
There’s no perfect formula to a Super Bowl ad, but there are a few points that can work in its favor. Featuring beloved celebrities and making them do stupid things usually deliver some successful and entertaining commercials. There were plenty that fit in that category, like seeing a mini Scrubs reunion or watching Arnold Schwarzeneggar become Zeus, but the best example of celebrity ridiculousness came from Lays.
As Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd hang out before Seth gets married, the two look back on their friendship and how Lays was always there for them. Horrifying plane crashes, ghosts, gang wars, and imprisonment were all made just a little bit better thanks to Lays. Then wrap it all together with a neat little punchline and you have arguably the funniest commercial of the entire event. Probably not going to become a mainstay, but points for originality.
Worst: Kevin Hart is Kevin Hart
I know I said just above this entry that making celebrities do stupid things is usually a recipe for success, but they have to be celebrities that aren’t overexposed. Kevin Hart is giving Shaq a run for his money for how many products and companies he’s willing to plaster his face on and advertise for. The man is everywhere and while you can definitely respect him for the hustle, that doesn’t make any of his commercials entertaining. Would you like to see Kevin Hart act like a smug jerk in a Sam’s Club? Here you go. I don’t know why you had that specific request, but here you are you weird little person.
Best: Doctor Strange Brings the Madness
I lost count of all of the trailers shown during the Super Bowl this year. We saw the new Jurrasic World, finally got to see Jordan Peele’s Nope, and even witness the first footage from Amazon’s Rings of Power. But for as much as I loathe Disney nowadays, I can’t deny that the trailer for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness impressed the hell out of me.
The multiverse is something that Marvel has been building up all throughout Phase 4 and now it looks like we’re going to get an intense look at just what exactly it is. There’s a lot to unpack with the trailer, much more than I can mention in this post, but I may in fact have to go see a Marvel movie again if the film is as good as this trailer is.
Worst: Taco Bell is Not a Clown, it’s the Entire Circus
I love me some Taco Bell. If I could take sponsorship from Taco Bell, I would and have no shame about it. Sometimes I hate my body and want to punish it with a Doritos Locos Taco. That’s just the way life goes. But I have no idea what Taco Bell was even doing here.
So the ad features a whole bunch of clowns at clown college being dissatisfied with their food. That is until Doja Cat steals a clown car, takes a posse of clowns, and goes to Taco Bell. I tend to play a game with Superbowl ads where I try and guess what the product is, but I had no idea what was even happening until the Taco Bell logo popped up on my screen. Confusion is a viable marketing tactic, but Taco Bell shouldn’t be providing deep metacommentary on how you’re a clown if you don’t eat at Taco Bell. Or at least that’s what I think they were going for, or else they wasted $7 million on a 30-second ad.
Best: The Cable Guy Is Back
This could easily be considered one of the worst commercials as well depending on what you think of the Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy. It’s a really dark comedy with an incredibly annoying and uncomfortable antagonist, but gosh darn it was I happy to see our favorite obsessive stalker come back in a 5G commercial. That alone makes this one of the best commercials of the Superbowl. Now I really want to rewatch The Cable Guy.
Worst: Coinbase Made One Of The Worst Ads Of All Time
The prominence of Cryptocurrency commercials during the Super Bowl was annoying. It reminds me a lot of the dot com bubble of the early 2000s and I’m pretty sure most, if not all, of these companies are going to be gone within a few short years. But even if I’m not a huge fan of the business, there was no denying that Coinbase’s Crypto ad is going to go down as one of the worst Super Bowl ads of all time.
The ad was a solid minute of a bouncing QR Code. That’s it. It bounces around the screen slowly like a Windows Screensaver, tempting viewers to scan it and see where it led to. I’m pretty certain no one even attempted to scan it as it just wasted everybody’s time with a blank screen that made people more confused than intrigued. But even if you did scan it you were in for a letdown as the site it took you to did not work. So Coinbase spent $14 million on a floating QR code that did nothing for 60 seconds and did not work. That is just hilarious to me and is actually kind of a perfect encapsulation of the entire Crypto marketplace. Nothing else could compare.